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New study shows veterans content with VA hospital care

COLUMBIA, Mo. – An annual event in Columbia hosted by the Truman VA drew almost 500 people to learn about veteran benefits and attend a car show. Many of the benefits are for Combat Veterans who have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.

A recent survey released by Senator Claire McCaskill surveyed about 400 veterans and asked them how they felt about the service and care they get at VA hospitals in the Boone County area.

Nearly 75 percent of these veterans surveyed visit the Truman VA in Columbia. The survey asked things such as how they felt about the quality of care, the quality of the facility, and how good the communication is between the VA and the veterans.

Veteran Nicholas Mainieri has been going to the VA for care ever since it opened. He said he is from Wentzville but he still commutes to the Truman VA because he thinks the care there is the best.

“Well I think their care here is excellent and I’ve been to other places,” he said. “This one here is excellent compared to others, I like it here.”

While about 70 percent of veterans rated their experience as Excellent or Above Average, the study showed there was still room for improvement.

Public Affairs Officer Stephen Gaither said the Truman VA is aware of the concerns, especially those involving the poor levels of communication between veterans and the VA, and said they are putting things in place to help.

“There’s always a situation sometimes when someone isn’t especially happy with what’s happening, but we have mechanisms in place to address those concerns,” Gaither said. “We have a patient advocate, we have open forums, we have ways they can share that information.”

This is the third survey McCaskill has put out in recent years.

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